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Beware of the 100 deadly days of summer for your teens

Parents of New York City teens who drive should realize that summer is a time of heightened risk for teenage drivers. Known as the "100 Deadliest Days," the months bookended by Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September are the most dangerous time of the year for teens to be behind the wheel of a car.

In one recent year, there were 1,050 deaths of individuals who died in collisions that involved teenage drivers during this same period. Those statistics work out to 10 deaths a day when averaged. That's a 14% uptick when compared to other months of the year.

The executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explained that "[t]he number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is an important traffic safety concern. [R}esearch shows that young drivers are at greater risk and have higher crash rates compared to older and more experienced drivers." He added that parental involvement, training and teen driver education can turn teens into "better and safer drivers."

Data from fatal collisions showed that driving after dark and speeding are significant contributing factors to these traffic deaths involving teenage drivers.

Driving at night between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. was a factor for 36% of traffic fatalities involving a teen driver, and one out of 10 nighttime highway deaths involved a teen behind the wheel.

What can parents do to keep their teens safer this summer? Teens love to drive and it's important to let them get some practice in. But New York City has many viable alternatives to driving in gridlocked traffic. Encourage your teen to use alternative modes of transportation and insist on riding along when they try out their new driving skills.

Parents can assess their kids' abilities behind the wheel and lessen or tighten driving restrictions accordingly. If your child is injured in an accident as a passenger, you may need to file a claim for damages on their behalf.

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